Our football match prediction:
Russia have not been in action since November 15, 2016. Back then the Russians recorded a hard-fought 1-0 win over Romania and they will be looking to build on the triumph when they take on Ivory Coast in Friday’s football game. Stansilav Cherchesov’s men continue their preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and, no doubt, the hosts have big ambitions for the next year’s showpiece tournament. Cherchesov is likely to experiment against Ivory Coast as Russia take on Belgium four days later and we are not tempted to put our money on the hosts. The Elephants failed to impress at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations and they will be looking to make amends for the unsuccessful campaign when they face Russia at Stadion FK Krasnodar. In their only previous meetings Russia and Ivory Coast played out a 1-1 draw and we predict that they are going to share the spoils on Friday evening as well.
Highlighted Player (Denis Cherychev):
Probably the most famous Russian footballer never to have played for a domestic club, Denis Cheryshev was born in Nizhny Novgorod, but began his career at Sporting Gijon as his father played for the Spanish side at the time. The talented winger eventually caught the eye of Real Madrid and went on to spend eight years in the youth academy at Santiago Bernabeu before he was given a chance to impress on senior level. Due to a fierce competition for places in Madrid, Cheryshev was forced to gain much needed first team experience via loan spells at Sevilla, Villarreal and Valencia, and he showed a great deal of potential during those stints, proving los Blancos were wrong to let him leave. Chersyhev has been in and out of the Russia national team since making his debut in 2012, but there is a good chance he will become an important member of Sbornaya Komanda as soon as he secures regular playing time at club level. The Russian footballer is capable of operating on either wing or through the middle, and he has proved to be quite prolific in terms of both goals and assists.
Highlighted Team (Ivory Coast):
Over the years Ivory Coast have established themselves as one of the best African teams. The Elephants won their second Africa Cup of Nations trophy in 2015, with the team beating Ghana in the final of the tournament. Ivory Coast defeated the Black Stars on penalties and it has to be noted that goalkeeper Boubacar Barry scored the winner. A number of high-profile footballers played (or play) for the Ivory Coast national team, but, no doubt, the most notable players are Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure, Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue, Salomon Kalou and Gervinho. Ivory Coast are well known for their orange kit, but they play their away games in green shirts and green shorts. Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny is regarded as the team’s home stadium. Didier Zokora is the player with the most caps for the Ivory Coast national team (123), while aforementioned attacker Didier Drogba is the team’s top scorer (65 goals). Drogba is the symbol of the Ivory Coast football and the former Chelsea man played for the national team from 2002 to 2014.